Since violent videogames came along, news media and family watchdogs have had a field day. Every violent activity in the world can now be linked to gaming, giving these fine, upstanding moral folk a modern day Satan to blame, a Satan that actually exists!
Before videogames, times were hard. When some of the most vicious, violent and sadistic human monsters ever stalked the Earth, just what was to blame? Adolf Hitler never had a PlayStation, and Ted Bundy was too busy shagging corpses to "pwn noobs" in Counter Strike. Of course, if videogames had existed when these evil men were alive, you can bet the they'd have been blamed.
With this in mind, we decided to indulge in a little roleplay and imagine which videogames would have been linked to which evil murderer if indeed the two entities had existed in the same time period. So, come with us as we enter the same fictional world that FOX News and Leland Yee currently live in, and ask ourself: What was in Jeff Dahmer's Xbox?
Name: Jeffery Dahmer
Crimes: Serial Murder, Cannibalism, Necrophilia, Rape
Played: Viva Piñata
One of America's most notorious serial killers and sex criminals, Jeffery Dahmer has earned a place in history for his shocking and brutal life of murder, which routinely involved the dismemberment and rape of his slain victims. 17 men and boys fell prey to this brutal predator, and we think it could easily have been blamed on one thing -- Viva Piñata.
Think about it -- much like Dahmer, Viva Piñata players must lure unwitting creatures into a seemingly harmless and attractive lair, where they will be made to have sex, killed and often cannibalized. Rare's gardening sim -- shockingly aimed at children and hiding a sick agenda behind cute, colorful graphics -- acts as a digital recreation of Dahmer's sick serial spree. The media would have had a field day once it discovered the frightening parallels between VP and JD.
Name: Albert Fish
Crimes: Serial Murder, Cannibalism, Child Molestation
Albert Fish is truly one of the most disturbing killer cases of all time. He carried with him the appearance of a kindly and frail old man, a grandfather figure who wouldn't hurt a fly. However, in reality he was a masochistic pervert who routinely embedded needles into his pelvic region, hit himself with a nail-studded paddle and, unfortunately, abducted, raped, killed and ate at least one little girl, with self-confessed claims to at least 100 other victims. Obviously, the media would have linked Mr. Fish to BioShock.
You already know where I'm going with this one, but in case you were unaware, BioShock is famed for its "Little Sisters" -- genetically altered creatures that look, act and think just like young girls. Throughout the course of the game, players will regularly encounter Little Sisters and be faced with a choice -- either save or kill them. Killing them allows you to harvest a precious resource known as ADAM. In essence, you are murdering and then ingesting young girls. The fact that you regularly stick needles into yourself cannot be ignored either. Albert Fish and BioShock are inextricably linked, if you simply look hard enough.
Name: Ted Bundy
Crimes: Serial Murder, Rape, Necrophilia
Played: Left 4 Dead
Ted Bundy is an enigma among serial killers. While most psychopathic murderers are of low to average intelligence, socially inept and generally really weird, Bundy was handsome, charming and pretty damn smart. Nevertheless, he was still a heartless killer who would feign injury to lure trusting women to his car, bludgeon them, and then indulge in rape, murder and necrophilia. If Left 4 Dead had existed at the time, I dare say that Bundy's acts would have been connected.
The fixation on corpses is self evident, as Left 4 Dead assaults players with wave after wave of the living dead. However, the undeniable sexual imagery in L4D would also prove to be quite a contributing factor. After all, the Hunter quite clearly looks like it's molesting players when it pounces on them, and do I even need to talk about the Smoker, a corpse that wraps players in a long, slimy tongue, causing them to orgasmically writhe and moan? Sex, violence, and death. Ted Bundy's three main interests, wrapped up in one little game disc.
Name: Harold Shipman
Crimes: Serial Murder
Played: Theme Hospital
Just to prove that it's not just America that produces sick freaks, I present to you Dr. Harold Shipman. Not only was Shipman Britain's worst serial killer, he was potentially the most prolific in the entire world, with 218 proven victims and a possible overall count of 400. A practicing British doctor, Shipman's MO was to use his position in the medical profession to inject elderly people -- mostly women -- with a lethal dose of morphine. He would also alter wills in order to financially benefit from his crimes. Theme Hospital was actually around at the same time Shipman was in practice. Even though the media didn't find a link, I don't believe it could be ruled out.
After all, not only does Theme Hospital poke fun at medical negligence and present the death of patients in a lighthearted, callous manner, the entire point of the game is to sweep such horrific occurrences under the carpet. Players quickly learn to "take care" of patients in ways that won't negatively alter the hospital's statistics. Quite clearly Shipman could have, and probably did, learn from Bullfrog's sick game. Quite how those sleuths at The Sun missed such a vital connection is beyond me.
Name: David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz
Crimes: Serial Murder
Played: Duck Hunt
David Berkowitz, known also as Son of Sam and the .44 Caliber Killer, shot to death six people and wounded a further seven, seemingly without motive. Berkowitz, however, has tried to claim that he was instructed to commit his crimes by a demon, worked for a Satanic Cult and, most famously, was possessed by his neighbor's dog.
A dog, eh? That could only mean one thing -- Duck Hunt.
What other game puts a gun in your hand and has you killing at random in order to win favor with a judgmental canine? The dog mocks you should you fail to kill in its name, spurring players on into further acts of wrathful bloodlust. The media would have been able to link Berkowitz and Duck Hunt in seconds. It pretty much explains everything.
Name: Jack the Ripper
Crimes: Serial Murder
Played: Fable II
Jack the Ripper may not have wracked up the most kills, or even been the most shocking murderer, but the fact he has never been caught and was the first truly sensationalized killer means he has earned a truly iconic status. Saucy Jack of Whitechapel slit the throats of prostitutes in Victorian London, mutilating the bodies post-mortem. He would allegedly go on to send letters goading the police, boasting of his crimes. Only one game would have inspired Jack, and that's Fable II.
Since allowing something is the same thing as encouraging it, according to the mainstream media, the very fact that Fable II allows you to kill anybody, including the game's many prostitutes, is enough for a link to be made. We obviously would have also gone for the traditional favorite, Grand Theft Auto, which is famed for giving you "points" in exchange for whore murder, but we feel that Jack would have preferred the more rustic setting of Lionhead's fantasy game.
Name: Adolf Hitler
Played: Call of Duty
How could we not take a look at some of humanity's greatest monsters without including good old Addy H. The daddy of 'em all, this racist fuckpot is recognized and vilified the world over and possibly history's most evil politician, and that's really saying something. Responsible for the deaths of over six million Jewish people, and sitting at the centre of a war that turned the whole world in on itself, Adolf Hitler was, it has to be said, a deeply unpleasant man.
However, even Hitler needs something to blame, and we fully believe that The Daily Mail, itself a continuation of Hitler's work, would have easily been the first to match Hitler with the Call of Duty franchise. After all, where else would Hitler have gotten the idea for World War II if not from a game ABOUT World War II? The coincidence is too much to ignore.
So there you have it. Without proof, reasonable logic or a commitment to reality, we have easily been able to draw parallels and connections between videogames and some of the most evil men in history, most of which incidentally existed long before home gaming came to fruition.
It's just that easy.